According to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE) reported Wednesday, retail sales for Super Saturday weekend (Dec. 17 to 19) increased 5.5% compared to last year, totaling $7.58 billion. Foot traffic also increased 3%.
That’s a sharp contrast to Super Saturday 2009 when retail sales fell 16.5% to $6.58 billion and foot traffic declined 12.4%. In analyzing the weekend, ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said retailers saw some similar patterns on the two days surrounding Super Saturday.
Today’s Sales May Be Even Higher
“When the retail calendar creates a full week between Super Saturday and Christmas retailers typically see some softness on Friday and Saturday, and this year was no exception,” Martin said. “In comparison to last year Friday was particularly slow as consumers spent heavily in the morning and early afternoon preparing for the incoming inclement weather. Then on Sunday our data shows a slight spending lift over 2009 as some momentum from Super Saturday materialized early on Sunday.”
ShopperTrak also predicts procrastinating shoppers will flood various retailers today, perhaps making Dec. 23, the number two performing sales day this holiday shopping season. Dec. 23, 2009 also finished number two ahead of Super Saturday.
“The week leading into Christmas is hugely important for retailers as five of the top performing sales days are expected to fall during this period,” Martin said. “Looking back a bit further, the ten days prior to Christmas typically account for anywhere from 31% to 34% of total retail sales for the entire season which makes this a pressure filled few days for retailers.”
Martin said the week leading into Christmas is usually a bookend to the season with Black Friday being the other. “Winning retailers know this pattern well and will have the strategies in place to attract foot traffic and ultimately move sales levels into the black over these upcoming critical days.”
The ShopperTrak Retail Traffic Index measures traffic across five separate retail segments including total U.S. retailing. Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistics, as well as ShopperTrak proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.